I promised myself I wouldn’t be all complainey in my blog, but this is something that I feel is an actual issue (as well as being a complaint).
Cash-only businesses are few and far between, to be sure, but they still exist. And they seem to exist in the most inconvenient places. To be fair, I understand that not accepting credit cards reduces your overdraft from eliminating swipe fees, but carrying cash is getting less and less common. With debit and credit cards being the norm, and apps like TheLevelUp (https://www.thelevelup.com/) and Google Wallet (http://www.google.com/wallet/what-is-google-wallet.html) allowing you to pay with your smartphone, cash is becoming the exception to the rule. I’m probably biased because of where I live and my age group, but I honestly don’t think twice about not having any cash in my wallet.
Which means I usually don’t have any.
Herein lies my problem with cash-only businesses. I’ve complied a short list of the most common places that are cash-only; coincidentally, they seem to be the places where you would want the most payment options. I also realize that some cash-only places have ATMs available, but that’s beside my point.
Gas Stations – Everyone needs gas, at one point or another. The worst feeling in the world is riding on E and thankfully finding a gas station to learn they don’t take credit cards. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be riding on E (thanks, Dad). But, still. At that point I need my gas and can’t get it because you won’t take my debit card? Lame. In most cases gas stations that are cash only are cheaper, but out of pure convenience I would rather go to one that takes credit cards. I hate going inside, paying, and then having to get change if I overpay. I’m actually really shy about that sort of thing (if you can believe that), so I do anything I can do avoid it.
Coffee Shops – Yeah, I know. You’re hipster. Big business is bad. Wah wah wah. I just want my damn coffee. And maybe that coffee roll. And I just want to use my debit card. But you won’t take it. I’ll just go to Dunkin Donuts. Take that, Mr. Skinny Jeans.
Parking Garages – This one seems kind of obvious to me, but apparently it isn’t. I work in the city, so I’m used to parking garages. The majority of them take credit cards. You’re usually in there for more than 4 hours, which means they charge you half a year’s salary. I probably wouldn’t have that kind of cash on me anyway, so I’d prefer to use my debit card. I parked at one the other day that was cash only. I went to the ATM prior to leaving, and got what I thought would be an adequate amount of money because I had parked overnight. Turns out I was $10 short. I had to back out of the lane (someone was behind me, by the by), park, and go back to the ATM to get more money. Annoying. Just annoying.
A lot of people might see it as my problem for never carrying cash, and maybe I’m in the minority because of my age group and the fact that I live near a city. But I just feel like this is a thing. And it’s going to keep being a thing. And I will continue to be annoyed.